East Gwillimbury patients get relief from TMJ with expert dental services
TMJ is an often-heard phrase in relation to issues with the jaw. However, it’s not always well understood. Dr. Jameela Jifri of Harvest Hills Dental Care in East Gwillimbury, ON, helps her dental patients understand if the symptoms they’re experiencing could be caused by TMJ and if so, to find the proper treatment services.
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is the joint that connects the skull to the lower jaw. If you place two fingers just below your ear on the side of your face, you can feel a small indentation. When you open and close your mouth, you can feel the rounded ends of the jaw as they move within the socket of the joint. When the joint is healthy and aligned properly you should feel no pain in opening and closing your mouth.
Sometimes, people feel pain in the joint, hear a clicking sound when they open or close their mouth, or have their jaw lock into a closed or open position. When there is pain that lasts for more than several days, it’s likely that the patient has developed a TMJ disorder. Sometimes the pain can be quite intense and can even hurt in the head, neck, or face.
The cause of TMJ is unclear, however certain actions like clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth can exacerbate TMJ. These actions overwork the joint and cause a disc within the joint to shift or wear down. Clenching and grinding also change the way the top and bottom teeth meet. The trouble is that grinding and clenching are often subconscious actions that happen when people are stressed or even sleeping.
Could I have TMJ disorder?
If you have pain in your jaw, around the ear, facial muscles, or even in the neck and shoulders; if you hear a clicking sound; if you have pain or trouble chewing or biting; if you have headaches, dizziness, hearing loss, or ringing in the ears; or if your jaw locks, you may have TMJ and you need to see a dentist. The dentist will ask questions, perform an examination, and order imaging tests to confirm suspicions of TMJ.
Treatment can be simple, like rest and chewing soft foods for a few days. Or if the diagnosis is more severe, you may need to wear an oral appliance to realign your jaw.
Dr. Jifri and the team at Harvest Hills Dental Care are skilled at diagnosing and treating TMJ. Don’t live with pain in your jaw or unexplained headaches, call (365) 659-1008 today to schedule an appointment and get started on the path to a healthier and pain-free mouth.
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